The Top Resume Trends
I’m hopeful that 2017 will be a year full of great opportunities for all job seekers actively searching, and for those passively open to new opportunities—which according to a new survey by JobVite happens to be 74% of us.
Speaking of this survey, its results inject some serious optimism into the job search market, sharing that 69% of employers saw an increase in hiring with 39% reporting a significant increase in hiring and 35% planning to hire more than 100 new employees in the next 12 months. I hope it provides you with some much needed encouragement and optimism as you take a good look at your resume and start making changes for 2017. Here is a list of my top five 2017 resume trends.
2017 Resume Trend #1: Cutting-Edge Resumes
I don’t think we’ll see many job seekers in 2017 using old Microsoft resume templates, worn out objective statements, and boring filler words such as “excellent communication skills” or “dedicated professional.” I think by now most job seekers realize that just as technology is constantly changing, updating and getting better—so should all their career communications, including their resumes.
Competition for top talent will be especially high in the industries of hospitality, healthcare, technology, and finance—the four industries projecting the highest growth in 2017. Recruiters are already reporting having a hard time finding qualified candidates and are revamping how they attract top talent. Now is the time to throw out antiquated resumes and cover letters and start fresh with a modern, visually engaging, first-class resume that helps you shine as a top candidate and gives you a competitive advantage over other candidates.
We’ve already seen a huge rise in job seekers reaching out to experts for help with their resumes—whether that’s reading a how-to book, following the top career blogs, or hiring an executive resume writer. Candidates know that in order to be seen by recruiters as top talent their resume needs to be crystal clear about their personal brand and the benefits they offer future employers.
57% of recruiters will be most-focused on growing their talent pipeline this year, and 56% said their top priority is the quality of their hires.
2017 Resume Trend #2: Visually Engaging Resumes Work
Visual images process 60,000X faster in our brain than text. Let that sink in a minute.
Paul Martin Lester a tenured Communications Professor at California State University, Fullerton summarized this perfectly when he said:
“Something is happening. We are becoming a visually mediated society. For many, understanding of the world is being accomplished, not through words, but by reading images.”
If you’re a visual learner you already know what that is like. It’s why sites like Pinterest, Instagram, Periscope, and Snapchat have become so wildly popular; we are a visually driven society. I’ve been harping on this point for the last couple of years, that this should not be exclusive of our resumes. In fact, in 2017—more than ever before—incorporating visual interpretation of data into your resume is paramount. In a recent study, SkyWard reported content with relevant images get 94% more views than content without.
Incorporating a visual representation of data can be as easy as hopping into Microsoft Word or PowerPoint and making a chart or graph. I also don’t want to hear the excuse that you don’t have numbers. You don’t even need numbers to create a visual representation of data! You can use a pie chart to show industry keywords, skills that you possess, areas of expertise, and more. It’s not limited to the sales industry and those with metrics to boast.
2017 Resume Trend #3: Creative Resumes
Job seekers are getting creative and thinking outside the traditional resume box. This year we’re going to see a rise in people using infographic resumes. I have clients ask me about them all the time, and the great news is the majority of employers would read an infographic resume.
More and more job seekers are sending out one-page infographic resumes as an introduction, sending a full resume to touch base, and then following up afterwards. I’ve even seen resumes that were created to look like magazine spreads! Of course this approach may only work in creative fields, but infographic resumes can work in many different industries and at different career levels. I’ve had CFOs who’ve successfully used Infographic resumes to reach out to CEOs and Boards of Directors and landed great new opportunities that way.
2017 Resume Trend #4: The Twitter Impact
For verbose people like me it’s hard to “be brief.” I love all the details—the point of most of my stories comes out in all the little details along the way. Be that as it may, brevity has become the norm in our Twitter-impacted society. We’re so used to character counts on social media and having to get our point across in the shortest way possible. This has not escaped our careers and job searches.
In fact, in a society where almost everyone finds themselves busier than humanly possible, keeping your resume short is in your best interest. I’m not advocating for a one-page resume, but I am telling you to be aware of text density within your resume. When possible:
- Use a career snapshot instead of a paragraph summary as the introduction.
- Use bullets to break up information, and max your bullet list at five bullets.
- Incorporate white space throughout the resume to create a smoother flow.
- Be concise; say what you need to say in the fewest words possible.
- Use charts, graphs, and other visual images to communicate information whenever possible.
When writing your resume and cover letter remember Twitter’s character count—140 characters—and try to keep each statement within the parameter. This forces you to be to the point on your resume and not waste valuable resume space.
2017 Resume Trend #5: The Gig Economy
The gig economy is on the rise! In 2016, over a fifth of the job seekers surveyed in JobVite’s 2016 Job Seeker Nation survey reported they’ve held a gig-type job like working for Uber or Airbnb, and stated that this type of gig position was their main source of income.
In addition, 74% of respondents stated they were open to new opportunities and less than half stay at their jobs more than two years. The term “job hopping” is fading away, and more and more employers are becoming comfortable with the notion that employees are not looking for places to retire. Employers have become so aware of this that 51% said they’re investing in their employer brand to attract more top talent and increase their talent pipelines.
So, what does all this mean for your resume? It means, that those short stints that you’re so worried about on your resume shouldn’t be causing you anymore anxiety and stress. A whopping 55% of millennial women said they change jobs every one to three years and 42% of millennial men stated the same thing.
Employers aren’t as concerned as they used to be about job hopping. When I first started my career in the HR world I was trained to scan resumes for employment longevity and anything less than two years was frowned upon. We were trained to skip that resume and go to the next.
Here we are fifteen years later, and two years or less is the norm.
It’s not looked upon as a negative by employers anymore; it’s what is expected. Let that sink in and hopefully it will ease some of your fears.
What do all of these resume trends mean for me?
Here’s what you need to know:
We live in a technology-driven world where we consume mass amounts of information in short bits of text, via social media status updates and quick video clips. How we consume information has changed dramatically, and we need to not only be aware of this but also take action and make changes to our resumes to modernize the way we’re presenting ourselves to employers.
Cutting-edge resumes will be the way that top talents showcase themselves to employers in 2017.
Visually engaging resumes that incorporate color, borders, shading, charts, graphs, and visual presentation of data will generate more attention from employers.
Creative resumes, including infographic resumes, will become more and more common as employers enjoy reading them and candidates look for more ways to set themselves apart from their competition.
Writing leaner and cleaner content will be a must as the attention of hiring managers is pulled in ten different directions at once. The more concisely information is presented, the easier it will be digested.
Short stints of employment and worries over perceived job hopping will be a fear of the past as the gig economy continues to expand in 2017, with more and more job seekers taking on gig-type jobs. Include those short periods of employment without fear of being disqualified as employers’ perceptions of short-term employment have shifted.
If you’re searching for tips on how to create a cutting-edge resume or bring your resume up to speed with 2017 resume trends, check out this article that includes my top 10 2017 resume tips.
In the meantime, I’d love to connect on LinkedIn and expand both our networks! Feel free to send me an invite here. You can also find me online at Great Resumes Fast where I help time-pressed job seekers create interview-winning resumes within three to five business days—and more than 85% of my clients get multiple interviews in two weeks or less.